Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ, EESTI, FRANÇAIS: Languages of McDonald's

On the plastic bag around the Hello Kitty toy Amy got at McDonald's today, there was the obligatory warning (about plastic bags being dangerous on one side; about the contents not being suitable for children under three on the other), in several languages.

I wonder how they decided on the order. For the most part, it looks as if they took the languages in alphabetical order, but there are a couple of spots where I can't figure out why the languages do in that order.

The order is: ENGLISH, AZƏRICƏ, БЪЛГАРСКИ, CASTELLANO, CATALÀ, ČESKY, DANSK, DEUTSCH, ქართული, ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ, EESTI, FRANÇAIS, HRVATSKI, עברית, ÍSLENSKA, ITALIANO, LATVIEŠU, LIETUVA, MAGYAR, MALTI, МАКЕДОНСКИ, عربي, NEDERLANDS, NORSK, POLSKI, PORTUGUÊS, ROMÂNĂ, РУССКИЙ, SLOVENSKO, SLOVENIJA, SRPSKI, SUOMI, SVENSKA, TÜRKÇE, Українська.

I've no idea why Georgian is between German and Greek; neither its… hang on, perhaps it's because of the order "German, Georgian, Greek" by English name? But that doesn't make that much sense, since "Geo" comes before "Ger". Maybe they thought the ქ looked like a "d"? Also, "Ell" come after "Ees", so perhaps they treated ΕΛΛ as EAA?

I'm not sure why Hebrew is after Croatian, either, since neither "Ivrit" nor "Hebrew" comes after "Hrvatski". The language codes for Hebrew are "iw"/"he" (IIRC); the first would come after "is" and "it", while the second would come before "hr".

Then there's "Mal" sorting before "Mak"; Arabic in a completely(?) random place; Ukrainian in mixed case rather than all-caps; and a country name ("Slovenija") instead of a language name (and alphabetised wrongly since "Sloveni-" < "Slovens-"). Though perhaps the short form for Slovene would be "slovensko", too? Wikipedia says that Slovak is "slovenčina, slovenský jazyk" while Slovene is "slovenski jezik or slovenščina".

I'm also curious why the Georgian was entirely in "capitals" (the style where all letters are the same height and go from baseline to the top, with no descenders). Perhaps because they only had one font, and wanted the capital style for the language name and the "WARNING" and couldn't revert to another style for the message itself?

And finally, I'm a bit intrigued that there was Maltese on the bag; I don't think I've seen Maltese before on that sort of thing, even when the lists contained (as here) more than two dozen languages. And I (nearly) immediately wanted to change my journal title to "Biex tevita l-periklu ta' soffokazzjoni, żomm dan il-LiveJournal fejn ma jintlaħaqx mit-trabi u mit-tfal", but that was too long for the box.

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